Originally Posted by thenatibrewer
thanks, i really don't see the benefit to the "smack". like you said, "get to it quicker". but the result should be the same, right?
The benefit of the "smack" is to release yeast nutrients, and in essence, you are doing a mini starter if you allow it to swell. The end result of your method is just a lag in ferment time. You will indeed have fermentation, just not as quick.
The main thing you want is to lower the time it takes to begin your primary fermentation, by introducing yeast that will go to work asap, and start chomping on sugars. This is what Wyeast believe will happen with the smack packs, and it does indeed work.
Depending on the recipe, I use Wyeast, and still make starters with it. I smack the pack and allow it to bloat up a bit, then sanitize the package, then pour it into my starter.